Thursday, 25 May 2017

(262) Aylward of Ballynagar and Shankill Castle

Aylward of Shankill Castle
The Aylward family have been settled in the south-east of Ireland for many centuries, but it is only possible to construct a coherent genealogy for them from the late 16th century, when one branch was settled at Faithlegg (Co. Waterford) and another at Aylwardstown above the River Barrow in the south of Co. Kilkenny. The family were Catholics, and in the mid 17th century John Aylward of Faithlegg was an active supporter of the Catholic Confederation and mayor of Waterford at the time of the siege of that town in 1650. He was one of the seventy or so Catholic landowners deprived of their estates and transplanted to Galway, where he was granted some 3,000 acres of largely uncultivated land at Ballynagar (Co. Galway). His son, Peter Aylward was confirmed in his possession of Ballynagar in 1677, but the Faithlegg estate was never restored and was lost to the family at this time. Peter was the first of the family to conform to the Protestant religion, but his descendants seem to have been brought up as Catholics and only to have converted when their ownership of property or ambitions for public office made it expedient to do so. Peter was succeeded by his son John Aylward (d. 1731), three of whose sons then inherited in turn: John French Aylward, who died unmarried in 1755; Nugent Sylvester Aylward (1728-83), who was married but had no sons; and Michael Widman Aylward (d. 1785). 

On the death of the latter, the estate passed to his son, Capt. John Michael Nugent Aylward (1780-1861), then aged five, and the estate was leased out during his minority. He came into possession in 1801, was married in 1803, and in 1807 brought in the architect, Richard Morrison, to remodel the house at Ballynagar. Morrison developed a close friendship with the Aylmers, but after work on the house was completed, Capt. Aylmer came to suspect that Morrison was conducting an affair with his wife, and brought charges against him at the Galway Assizes for 'criminal conversation'. The jury were not convinced, and acquitted Morrison, but Capt. Aylmer, who seems to have had a somewhat mercurial temperament, separated from his wife anyway. Within a few years he was chronically indebted (something to which the cost of rebuilding Ballynagar may have contributed), and from 1819 until his death, over forty years later, he was pursued in the courts for debt and was obliged to sell parcels of the estate at intervals. His son, John Michael Aylward (1809-67) made an unsatisfactory marriage and separated from his wife before producing any children, so the reduced estate passed on his death to his nephew, John Michael Aylward Lewis (1827-73). Lewis left his widow, Hannah (d. 1913) a life interest in the estate, but two of his sons, John Michael Aylward Lewis (1854-1917) and Henry Hull Lewis (1860-1940) farmed parts of the property. Although the relationship between the brothers and the remaining customary tenants on the estate were generally good, the Aylwards became embroiled in a bitter dispute with the Irish Land Commission over the terms for the acquisition of the estate under the Irish land reform legislation. There is not space here to detail the dispute in full, but essentially the two brothers had taken a large part of the estate in hand when the customary tenants had declined to renew their tenancies (at rates set by the Commission), and had invested heavily in improving the land, for example by planting woodland on some areas. The compulsory purchase price subsequently set by the Land Commission was based on the old rental value and made no allowance for the subsequent investment. However valid the bigger picture of Irish land reform may have been, the Aylwards and many other landowners felt aggrieved at their treatment by the system, and in the 1920s what was left of the estate was sold by John Aylward Lewis (1893-1951).

The precise connection between the Aylwards of Faithlegg and later of Ballynagar and the Aylwards of Aylwardstown and later of Shankill Castle has not been established, but it seems probable that the latter branch was founded by a younger son of the former some time in the 16th century. Peter Aylward, who inherited Aylwardstown in 1608 and perhaps died in 1645, seems to have built a new house at Aylwardstown, of which a part (including a datestone for 1609) is incorporated into the present early 19th century farmhouse. Peter Aylward was succeeded at Aylwardstown by his son, Nicholas Aylward (fl. 1653), and he in turn by his son Peter Aylward (d. c.1720), who sometimes went by the name of Piers Aylward. Peter served with the Jacobite army in 1688-90 and was outlawed as a consequence, with the result that he forfeited Aylwardstown, although he later conformed to the Protestant religion. He married Elizabeth, the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Richard Butler, 2nd bt., of Paulstown (Kilkenny), and it seems probable that Elizabeth brought as part of her dowry the old tower house of Shankill Castle near Paulstown.  When Elizabeth died in 1708, Peter Aylward purchased this estate outright from the Butlers and rebuilt the house as a small but up-to-date classical house; his descendants remained there until 1991.

Peter Aylward was succeeded at Shankill Castle by his son Nicholas Aylward (1688-1756), who conformed to the Protestant religion in 1711 in order to allow him to be called to the bar; he later served as a judge and as an MP in the Irish House of Commons. Nicholas was succeeded by his eldest son, another Nicholas Aylward (c.1725-72), who left a son and two daughters by the first of his two marriages. When Nicholas died relatively young, the husbands of his two married sisters appear to have stirred up a messy family dispute about the succession to Shankill, but eventually his children were made wards of Chancery and his son Peter Aylward (d. 1792) succeeded when he came of age in about 1781. Peter also died young, and his son, Nicholas John Patrick Aylward (1787-1832) came of age in 1808. In the 1820s he extensively remodelled Shankill Castle in the Gothic taste, probably to the designs of William Robertson. Nicholas was succeeded by his son, James Kearney Aylward (1811-84), who made further alterations to the house in the 1850s, to the designs of William Deane Butler (d. 1857) and Richard Turner. James was married, but had no issue, and on his death the estate passed to his nephew, Hector James Charles Toler (1839-1918), who took the additional name Aylward. He left marriage and procreation until late in life, but produced 'an heir and a spare', who both contrived to survive the First World War. When he died in 1918, Shankill therefore passed to his elder son, Hector James Toler-Aylward (1895-1974), who served for three years as President of the Royal Dublin Society, 1959-62. He had no sons, so at his death Shankill passed first to his widow and then to his elder daughter Maura Toler-Aylward (1932-2003), who never married, and who sold the house to the artist Elizabeth Cope in 1991.



Ballynagar House, Woodford, Co. Galway


Ballynagar House, built by Richard Morrison for Capt. Aylmer, c.1807.

The Ballynagar estate belonged to the Aylward family from the mid 17th century, when John Aylward (d. 1662) was deprived of his property in Co. Waterford and resettled here. At the rear of the present main block is a wing consisting of three bays of an early-to-mid 18th century house, which is said to contain internal evidence of even earlier, 17th century, work. This house was let during the minority of Capt. John Michael Aylward (1780-1861), when it was described as 'large and roomy, and in capital repair', but perhaps because of subsequent neglect, it was remodelled after Capt. Aylward came of age.

The present house is largely the result of work undertaken c.1807-13 to the design of Richard Morrison for Capt. J.M. Aylmer (1780-1861). Morrison's new entrance front is a five-bay two-storey stuccoed block with shallow segmental bow ends, built on a raised basement. The house has a low-pitched slate roof supported on a broad eaves, with a one-bay central pediment over a shallow breakfront. The interior is decorated with delicate, thin plasterwork and horizontally fluted architraves to the doors and windows of the main rooms. The entrance hall has a segmental vaulted ceiling rising above and behind a shallow bracketed cornice, and connects by a broad flight of steps, flanked by plain niches, to the staircase hall, which is lit by a tall Gothick window with timber glazing bars. The ceiling of the staircase hall is a dramatic oval dome, again set above a bracketed cornice, but the staircase itself was replaced in the late 19th century.

Descent: granted to John Aylward (d. 1662); to son, Peter Aylward (b. 1653); to son, John Aylward (d. 1731); to son, John French Aylward (d. 1755); to brother, Nugent Sylvester Aylward (1728-83); to brother, Michael Widman Aylward (d. 1785); to son, Capt. John Michael Nugent Aylward (1780-1861); to son, John Michael Aylward (1809-67); to nephew, John Michael Aylward Lewis (1827-73); to widow, Hannah Aylward (d. 1913); to son, John Michael Aylward Lewis (1854-1917); to son, John Aylward Lewis (1893-1951), who sold in the 1920s...


Shankill Castle, Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny




Shankill Castle: gate lodge of c.1845 attached to an earlier archway of c.1825. Image: Dandyrum.

The estate is entered through a castellated and originally symmetrical gateway of the 1820s, to which a tall two-storey Gothic lodge designed by Daniel Robertson was attached in the late 1840s; the design of the latter is said to have been originally intended for Dunleckney Manor (Co. Carlow). The lodge sets the mood nicely for the present castellated house, but the complex Gothic facades are merely a remodelling of an older house of 1708-13, which in turn incorporated the original late 16th century tower house of the Butler family. The early 18th century house was built for Peter Aylward after he purchased the estate from his wife's family, and had a recessed centre and projecting end bays; the left hand bay represented the earlier tower house. There are remnants of the formal gardens which once accompanied the Georgian house in the avenue of trees leading from the entrance front to a claire-voie with rusticated stone piers, and in the lake at the rear of the house, which was originally a formal canal. 


Shankill Castle: entrance front
The interior of the house retains much of its early 18th century character. The central hall on the entrance front has a handsome black marble chimneypiece, and is flanked by smaller rooms with corner fireplaces, which were the original dining and drawing rooms. The dining room has Gothic plasterwork on the ceiling and a Gothic pelmet. The principal and secondary staircases occupy the space behind the original tower, and while the main staircase was renewed in the late 18th century, the secondary stair remains largely in its original form. Beyond the hall a saloon overlooked the grounds to the rear of the house. On the first floor, a transverse corridor down the middle of the house gives access to the principal bedrooms.

Shankill Castle: garden front, showing the lake created from an 18th century formal canal.
Shankill Castle: watercolour proposal for Gothick remodelling of the house, c.1825, attributed to William Robertson.
Image: Irish Architectural Archive.

A watercolour attributed to William Robertson (1770-1850), and probably dating from the 1820s, shows a design proposal for altering the Georgian house in the Gothick taste. Although this proposal was not executed, it bears some similarities (for example in the end elevations) to the remodelling which is believed to have been carried out for Nicholas Aylward (d. 1832) in the 1820s. On this basis, the changes of this date are normally attributed to William Robertson. He crenellated the end bays, linked them by a Gothic porch, and raised one of them to look like a tower. A new dining room running from the front of the house to the back was added on the left, and a castellated office wing on the right, effectively breaking up the symmetry of the original design. The back of the house, which is more irregular, is treated in much the same way, and adorned with a delightful Gothic conservatory on the level of the half-landing of the stairs, carried on a stone arcade.


Shankill Castle: additions and alterations proposed by W.D. Butler, 1854. Image: Irish Architectural Archive.



Shankill Castle: the Gothic conservatory
In 1854, James Kearney Aylward (1811-84) brought in William Deane Butler (d. 1857) to make further changes to the house. The dining room was transformed into a Victorian drawing room featuring an impressively-carved white marble chimneypiece which Aylward purchased in Milan in 1860. The hall was refitted with floor-to-ceiling timber panelling while the room beyond, previously a saloon, became the new dining room and was given a large Tudor-headed buffet niche and a new Gothic bay window. Surviving plans show that the room to the north of the hall was intended as a billiard room while a study was provided in the new wing.

After Butler died in 1857 work may have been continued by Richard Turner (1798-1881), who is thought to have designed the conservatory, built in 1861 and demolished in 1961, which opened off the drawing room


Shankill Castle: entrance front in the late 19th century, showing the conservatory added in 1861. Image: Irish Architectural Archive.


Descent: sold c.1708 to Peter Aylward (d. c.1720); to son, Nicholas Aylward (1688-1756); to son, Nicholas Aylward (c.1725-72); to son, Peter Aylward (d. 1792); to son, Nicholas John Patrick Aylward (1787-1832); to son, James Kearney Aylward (later Kearney-Aylward) (1811-84); to nephew, Hector James Charles Toler (later Toler-Aylward) (1839-1918); to son, Hector James Toler-Aylward (1895-1974); to widow, Zinna Ethel Toler-Aylward (1897-1980); to daughter, Maura Toler-Aylward (1932-2003), who sold 1991 to the artist, Elizabeth Cope.


Aylward of Ballynagar



Aylward, John (d. 1662). Parentage unknown. A Roman Catholic in religion, he was an active supporter of the Catholic Confederation, and as Mayor of Waterford, 1650, he must have played a prominent part in organising the determined resistance of the town during the Siege of Waterford that year, and its eventual capitulation. He seems, however, to have been treated as a non-combatant when the Act for the Settlement of Ireland was imposed in 1652, and although he was stripped of his estate in Co. Waterford he avoided exile and was allowed to claim 3,000 acres in Co. Galway in compensation. He married, 1639, Margaret, daughter of Alderman William Dobbyn of Waterford, and had issue including:
(1) Peter Aylward (b. 1653) (q.v.).
He inherited the Faithlegg (Co. Waterford) estate, and lands around Passage (Co. Waterford) that are said to have totalled some 11,000 acres, from his cousin, Peter Aylward, but this was confiscated by Parliament in 1652. He was instead granted 3,000 acres at Ballynakill in Co. Galway, which became the Ballynagar estate.
He died in 1662. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylward, Peter (b. 1653). Only recorded son of John Aylward (d. 1662) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Alderman William Dobbyn of Waterford, born 1653. He conformed to the Protestant religion. He married, before 1685, Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher French of Tyrone (Galway), and had issue:
(1) John Aylward (d. 1731) (q.v.);
(2) Peter Aylward; probably died young;
(3) Mathew Aylward (d. 1739); died unmarried, 1739;
(4) Jane Aylward (1685-1770); married Walter Joyce (1691-1754) of Galway, and had issue;
(5) Honora Aylward (d. 1743); married, as his second wife, Gerald Dillon of Dillon Grove (Roscommon) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 1743;
(6) Margaret Aylward; married 1st, John Leonard of Carragh (Galway) and 2nd, 1721, Patrick Fitzgerald of Killnecorren (Mayo), and had issue two sons and three daughters.
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his father in 1662 and came of age in 1674. In 1677 he obtained a confirmation grant from the Crown of the Ballynagar estate.
He died before 1716. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylward, John (d. 1731). Eldest son of Peter Aylward (b. 1653) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher French (later St. George) of Tyrone (Galway). He conformed to the Protestant religion, 1725. He married Barbara (d. 1765), daughter of Garrett Nugent of Dysert (Westmeath) and had issue:
(1) John French Aylward (c.1725-1755) (q.v.);
(2) Nugent Sylvester Aylward (c.1728-83) (q.v.);
(3) Michael Widman Aylward (c.1730-85) (q.v.);
(4) Elizabeth Aylward; married Patrick Byrne of Ballyteskin (Leix);
(5) Mary Aylward; married, 9 February 1755, Francis French of Dublin and had issue one daughter;
(6) Barbara Aylward; married Edward O'Brien of Ballysoblona (Westmeath) and had issue;
(7) Bridget Aylward; married, 2 November 1752, John Blake of Ross Lodge (Clare).
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his father before 1716.
He died in July 1731. His widow died in February 1765.

Aylward, John French (c.1725-55). Eldest son of John Aylward (d. 1731) and his wife Barbara, daughter of Garrett Nugent of Dysert (Westmeath), born about 1725. He may be the John Aylward admitted to Trinity College, Dublin in 1739/40. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his father in 1731 as a minor.
He died 30 September 1755; administration of his goods was granted to his mother in 1756.

Aylward, Nugent Sylvester (c.1728-83). Second son of John Aylward (d. 1731) and his wife Barbara, daughter of Garrett Nugent of Dysert (Westmeath), born about 1728. Clerk to Michael Archbold of Dublin, merchant, until he inherited the family estate. He conformed to the Protestant religion in 1756. He married, 5 February 1757, Catherine (d. 1786), daughter of Patrick French (later St. George) of Tyrone (Galway), and had issue:
(1) Mary Aylward (d. 1789); married 1st, 23 February 1780, Edmund Blake (d. 1782) of Ballyglunin Park (Galway) and had issue one son (who died young); married 2nd, 19 July 1788, Col. John Blake of Furbo (Galway); died 1789.
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his elder brother in 1755.
He died 10 August 1783, and his will was proved later that year. His wife conformed to the Protestant religion, 1763, and died 27 December 1786; her will was proved in 1787.

Aylward, Michael Widman (c.1730-85). Youngest son of John Aylward (d. 1731) and his wife Barbara, daughter of Garrett Nugent of Dysert (Westmeath), born about 1730. He seems to have been brought up as a Roman Catholic, and as a young man served for some time in the Spanish army, for which he was outlawed but received a royal pardon in 1759/60. He conformed to the Protestant religion in 1780. He married 1st, Sarah, daughter of Patrick French (later St. George) of Tyrone (Galway), and 2nd, 16 December 1784, Jane (d. 1835), daughter of Hyacinth Daly of Killimore Castle (Galway), and had issue:
(1.1) Capt. John Michael Nugent Aylward (1780-1861) (q.v.);
(1.2) Barbara Aylward (d. 1822); married, 15 October 1800 at St Finbar RC church, Cork, William Mahony of Rockvale (Cork); died 24 December 1822;
(1.3) Mary Aylward; married 1st, 9 January 1802, William Burke of Moyglass (Galway), and 2nd, 17 January 1808, Thomas L. Whistler, surgeon;
(2.1) Michael Aylward (1785-1824) of Galway; died unmarried, 27 April 1824.
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his elder brother in 1783.
He died 10 June 1785; administration of his goods was granted in 1786. His first wife died before 1784. His widow married 2nd, Capt. Averell Lecky (c.1760-1834) of Castle Lecky (Co. Derry) and died 13 January 1835.

Aylward, Capt. John Michael Nugent (1780-1861). Only son of Michael Widman Aylward (d. 1785) and his first wife, Sarah, daughter of Patrick French (later St. George) of Tyrone (Galway), born 15 November 1780. An officer in the 5th Dragoon Guards (Capt.). He brought an unsuccessful case against the architect Richard Morrison for adultery with his wife, 1815. From 1819 until the end of his life he was chronically indebted, and his estates were under the management of a receiver appointed by Chancery. He married, 29 November 1803 at Alnwick (Northbld) (sep. c.1815), Jane (d. 1864), daughter of Anthony Lambert of Alnwick, and had issue:
(1) Cicely Connolly Aylward (1807-44) (q.v.); 
(2) John Michael Aylward (1809-67) (q.v.).
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his father in 1785 and came of age in 1801; he employed Richard Morrison to  rebuilt the house after 1807.
He died 28 September 1861; administration of his goods was granted 13 July 1861 (effects under £5). His widow lived latterly at a temperance hotel in Carlisle (Cumbld), and died 7 May 1864; her will was proved 16 May 1865 (effects under £2,000).

Aylward, John Michael (1809-67). Only son of Capt. John Michael Nugent Aylward (1780-1861) and his wife Jane, daughter of Anthony Lambert of Alnwick (Northbld), born 13 March 1809. Elected a member of the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland, 1865. He married, 12/22 December 1831 (sep.), Mary (d. 1864), daughter of Thomas Higgins of Carropadin (Galway), but had no issue.
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his father in 1861. At his death it passed to his nephew, John Michael Aylward Lewis (1827-73) (q.v.).
He died 14 April 1867; administration of his goods was granted 24 May 1867 (effects under £6,000). His wife died 25 December 1864.

Aylward, Cicely Connolly (1807-44). Only daughter of Capt. John Michael Nugent Aylward (1780-1861) and his wife Jane, daughter of Anthony Lambert of Alnwick (Northbld), born 10 September and baptised 13 September 1807 at Alnwick. She married, 20 June 1824 at Mallow (Cork), Richard Tonson Lewis (c.1800-51), second son of Richard Lewis, and had issue:
(1) Olivia Barbara Lewis (c.1825-95), born about 1825; died unmarried, 8 November 1895; administration of her goods was granted 9 December 1895 (effects £1,958);
(2) John Michael Aylward Lewis (1827-73) (q.v.).
She died 1 February 1844. Her husband died 23 October 1851.

Lewis, John Michael Aylward (1827-73). Only son of Richard Tonson Lewis (d. 1851) and his wife Cicely Connolly (d. 1844), daughter of Capt. John Michael Nugent Aylward of Ballynagar, born 12 March 1827. An officer in 5th Dragoon Guards and Cork Artillery (2nd Lt., 1855; Lt., 1856). JP for Co. Galway. He married, 7 April 1853 at St Mark, Dublin, Hannah (d. 1913), daughter of Thomas Roberts White of Mountrath (Leix), and had issue:
(1) John Michael Aylward Lewis (1854-1917) (q.v.);
(2) Dr. Thomas White Lewis (1855-1907), born 8 January 1855; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1877; gold medallist; MD 1883); physician and surgeon at King's Cliffe (Northants); member of the Senate of Dublin University; member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland; served as a parish and district councillor and was Chairman of his local Conservative Club; died 8 April 1907 and was buried in Ireland; will proved 7 June 1907 (estate £4,982);
(3) twin, Richard George Lewis (1857-81), born 19 February 1857; an officer in the Galway militia (2nd Lt., 1875; Lt., 1877); died unmarried when he was accidentally drowned in Lough Derg attempting to save the life of another, 31 January 1881;
(4) twin, Annie Lewis (b. 1857), born 19 February 1857; perhaps died young;
(5) Dr. Robert Travers Lewis (1859-1906), born 19 March 1859; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (MB 1885; BS 1886); physician and surgeon at Willingham (Cambs), 1890-1906 and local Medical Officer of Health; served as a parish councillor and was closely involved in many village societies and clubs; married, 3 September 1890 at St Stephen, Twickenham (Middx), Emily Mary Frances (1862-1927), daughter of Thomas Twamley, and had issue one son (Sir Richard George Aylward Lewis (1895-1965)) and five daughters; died of pneumonia, 2 December 1906 and was buried at Willingham; will proved 8 January 1907 (estate £2,161);
(6) Henry Hull Lewis (1860-1940), born 15 December 1860; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA); JP for Co. Galway; farmed on the family estate until c.1907 and later moved to Balbriggan (Dublin); died 6 June 1940; will proved in Dublin, 28 August 1940 (effects in Ireland, £11,693) and in Llandudno, 29 October 1940 (effects in England, £13,198);
(7) Lt-Col. George White Lewis (1863-1951), born 29 May 1863; educated at Rathmines School (Capt. of the School) and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in Worcestershire Regiment (Lt., 1885; Capt., 1891; Maj.; Brevet Lt-Col., 1902), who served in South Africa, 1899-1902; returned to the army as Col. of 1st Battn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 1914-15; died in Dublin, 30 January 1951;
(8) Hannah Blanche Lewis (1865-1950), born 20 June 1865; educated at Alexandra College and Royal University of Ireland; died unmarried, 29 October 1950; administration of goods granted in Dublin, 17 January 1951 (estate in Ireland, £16,987) and in London, 13 February 1951 (estate in England, £20,735).
He inherited the Ballynagar estate from his maternal uncle in 1867. At his death he left his widow a life interest in the estate; she was forced to sell much of the land to the Estates Commission in 1907.
He died 26 May 1873. His widow died in Dublin, 24 June 1913.

Lewis, John Michael Aylward (1854-1917). Eldest son of John Michael Aylward Lewis (1827-73) and his wife Hannah, daughter of Thomas Roberts White, born 1 February 1854. JP for Co. Galway from 1880; High Sheriff of Co. Galway, 1903. In 1904-07 he and his brother (H.H. Lewis) were involved in a much-publicised dispute with the Estates Commissioners about the terms for the sale of estate lands to the Commission, and the reinstatement of evicted tenants. He married, 4 December 1889, Catherine Frances (c.1869-1956), only daughter of Edward Jonas Greene of Newstead (Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Kathleen Adelaide Lewis (1890-1979), born 29 August 1890; educated at University College, Dublin; married, 5 November 1919 at Kingstown (Dublin), Wilfrid Hugh Payton (1892-1965), later Chief Secretary to the Government of Burma, son of Hugh Payton, merchant, but had no issue; died 5 January 1979; will proved 15 February 1979 (estate £94,733);
(2) John Aylward Lewis (1893-1951) (q.v.).
He inherited Ballynagar on the death of his mother in 1913.
He died 28 October 1917; administration of his goods was granted in Dublin, 15 March 1918 and in London, 27 March 1918 (estate in England £5,171). His widow died 11 August 1956 and was buried at Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin; her will was proved 7 March 1957 (estate in Ireland, £1,766) and administration of her goods was granted in London, 3 June 1957 (estate in England, £362).

Lewis, John Aylward (1893-1951). Only son of John Michael Aylward Lewis (1854-1917) and his wife Catherine Frances, only daughter of Edward Jonas Greene of Newstead (Dublin), born 23 July 1893. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin. President of the Boula Young Farmers Club. He married, 1915, Dorothy Tighe (c.1889-1979), second daughter of William M'Gusty of The Red House, Skerries (Dublin), but had no issue.
He inherited Ballynagar from his father in 1917, but sold it in the 1920s and lived subsequently at Derrahiney, Ballinasloe (Galway).
He died in Dublin, 15 February 1951 and was buried at Christchurch, Portumna (Galway); his will was proved 23 November 1951 (estate in Ireland, £10,669). His widow died in Cork, 12 January 1979, aged 90, and was also buried at Portumna; her will was proved 14 August 1979 (estate in England & Wales, £20,246).


Aylward (later Toler-Aylward) family of Shankill Castle



Aylward, Peter alias Piers (d. c.1720). Only recorded son of Nicholas Aylward (fl. 1653) and his wife Ellen, daughter of James Kelly of Gowran (Kilkenny). A Roman Catholic in religion, who fought in the Jacobite army, 1688-90, and was outlawed, but later conformed to the established church. He married, c.1685, Elizabeth (d. 1708), eldest daughter and eventual co-heiress of Sir Richard Butler, 2nd bt., of Paulstown (Kilkenny), and had issue including:
(1) Nicholas Aylward (1688-1756) (q.v.).
He inherited Aylwardstown House from his father but lost it on his outlawry. He did, however, subsequently lease back much of the estate from Lord Duncannon. He inherited an interest in Shankill Castle in right of his wife, and apparently bought the estate after his wife's death in 1708. He built a new house (incorporating the old tower) at Shankill in 1708-13.
He died between 1719 and 1725. His wife died in 1708.

Aylward, Nicholas (1688-1756). Eldest son of Peter Aylward (fl. 1713) and his wife Elizabeth, eldest daughter and eventual co-heiress of Sir Richard Butler, 2nd bt., of Paulstown (Kilkenny), born 1688. He was evidently brought up as a Roman Catholic but conformed to the established church in 1711. Educated at Kilkenny College and Middle Temple (admitted 1705/6; called to Irish bar, 1711). Barrister-at-law; Recorder of Thomastown and Gowran (Kilkenny); MP for Thomastown, 1727-56. High Sheriff of Co. Kilkenny, 1742. Sovereign (i.e. Mayor) of Athy, 1733; JP 1754. He married, 3/5 August 1719, Catherine (d. 1756?), second daughter of Maurice Keating of Narraghmore (Co. Kildare), and had issue:
(1) Maurice Aylward; probably died young;
(2) Nicholas Aylward (c.1725-72) (q.v.);
(3) Peter Aylward (d. 1801); died unmarried and without issue and was buried at Gloucester, 1801;
(4) Anne Aylward (d. 1802); married, 6 November 1751, John Vigors (1709-76) of Old Leighlin (Co. Carlow) and had issue three sons and five daughters; died March 1802;
(5) Elizabeth Aylward; married, 4 February 1749, John Hely of Folkes Court (Kilkenny);
(6) Catherine Aylward (d. 1795); died unmarried; buried at Shankill, 20 July 1795;
(7) Mary Aylward (fl. 1772); died unmarried.
He inherited Shankill Castle from his father.
He died 5 June 1756. His widow is perhaps the Mrs Aylward who died at Kilkenny, 5 October 1756.

Aylward, Nicholas (c.1725-72). Elder son of Nicholas Aylward (d. 1786) and his wife Catherine, second daughter of Maurice Keating of Narraghmore (Co. Kildare), born about 1725. Educated at the Middle Temple (admitted 1744). High Sheriff of Co. Kilkenny, 1757. He married 1st, 14 July 1756, Mary (d. 1767), daughter of Benjamin Kearney of Blanchville (Co. Kilkenny), and 2nd, April 1769, Susanna (d. 1775), widow of Edmund Waring, and had issue:
(1.1) Peter Aylward (d. 1792) (q.v.);
(1.2) Nicholas Aylward (fl. 1772); died unmarried;
(1.3) Katherine Aylward (fl. 1772).
He inherited Shankill Castle from his father in 1756. After his death, the husbands of his two married sisters appear to have disputed the legitimacy of his children and promoted the claim of their wives and his unmarried sisters to succeed to the estate. The latter, however, caused a press advertisement to appear asserting the prior claim of their brother Peter Aylward (d. 1801). In the event, the legitimacy of his children was accepted and they were made wards of Chancery.
He died 1 August 1772. His first wife died December 1767. His widow married 3rd, October 1772, Rev. Henry Candler, and died 4 August 1775.

Aylward, Peter (1758-92). Elder son of Nicholas Aylward (d. 1772) and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Benjamin Kearney of Blanchville (Co. Kilkenny), born 16 October 1758. He and his siblings were wards of the Irish Court of Chancery, which in 1772 appointed his grandfather, Benjamin Kearney (d. 1784), as their guardian. In the early 19th century he was described in legal papers as having been "a person of very weak mind, and incapable of managing his affairs", and his grandfather is said to have exercised undue influence over him. He married, 1780, Anne Kearney of New Ross (Co. Waterford), and had issue:
(1) Nicholas John Patrick Aylward (1787-1832) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Aylward (b. 1788), baptised 10 March 1788 at Old Leighlin; probably died young;
(3) Michael Thomas Aylward (b. 1790), baptised 2 January 1790 at Old Leighlin.
He inherited Shankill Castle from his father in 1772 and came of age in 1779.
He died in 1792; his will was proved at Dublin, 1792. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Aylward, Nicholas John Patrick (1787-1832). Only child of Peter Aylward (d. 1792) and his wife Anne Kearney of New Ross (Co. Waterford), baptised 17 March 1787 at Old Leighlin. Educated at Kilkenny and Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1804). High Sheriff of Co. Kilkenny, 1816-17. He married, 1805, Elizabeth (d. 1851), eldest daughter of James Kearney of Blanchville (Co. Kilkenny), and had issue:
(1) Mary Anne Aylward (c.1807-50) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Aylward (d. by 1857); married, 5 February 1840 at St Peter, Dublin, Rev. Henry Clopton Keogh (c.1814-61) of Trudder (Wicklow), son of Rev. John Keogh of Cloonslanor, Strokestown, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died before 1857;
(3) Susanna Aylward (d. 1857) of Clonsingle House; died unmarried, 27 October 1857; will proved in Dublin;
(4) James Kearney Aylward (later Kearney-Aylward) (1811-84) (q.v.);
(5) Nicholas Aylward (b. c.1813); died young;
(6) Peter Charles Aylward (b. c.1815); educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1833; BA 1837); died unmarried and without issue;
(7) Catherine Waller Aylward (d. 1889); died unmarried, 29 January 1889;
(8) Meriel Anne Aylward (d. 1897); married, 16 May 1849 at St Peter, Dublin, Robert Saunders Young (1829-82) of Clonsingle House (Tipperary), son of Robert Saunders Young, and had issue; died 23 December 1897.
He inherited Shankill Castle from his father in 1792 and came of age in 1808; he remodelled the house in the 1820s, probably to the designs of William Robertson.
He died in Dublin, 6 March 1832 and his will was proved there, 1832. His widow died 25 February 1851.

Aylward (later Kearney-Aylward), James Kearney (1811-84). Eldest son of Nicholas John Patrick Aylward (1787-1832) and his wife Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James Kearney of Blanchville, born 1811. Educated at Eton. DL and JP for Co. Kilkenny; High Sheriff of Co. Kilkenny, 1837. He assumed the additional name of Kearney in 1876, on succeeding to a moiety of the estates of his cousin James Charles Kearney of Blanchville. He married, 25 July 1853 at St. John's Chapel, Edinburgh, Isabella (d. 1881), daughter of Lt-Col. Arthur Forbes and widow of Beauchamp Bartholomew Newton (d. 1850) of Rathwade (Co. Carlow), but had no issue.
He inherited Shankill Castle from his father in 1832 and made alterations to the house c.1854-61. At his death it passed to his nephew, Hector James Charles Toler (later Toler-Aylward).
He died 1 February 1884; his will was proved at Kilkenny, 29 March 1884 (effects in Ireland, £18,250; effects in England, £8,892). His wife died in Dublin, 5 August 1881.

Aylward, Mary Anne (c.1807-50). Eldest daughter of Nicholas John Patrick Aylward (1787-1832) and his wife Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James Kearney of Blanchville, born about 1807. She married, 24 February 1835 at St George, Dublin, Rev. Peter Toler (1803-83) of Bloomfield (Roscommon), vicar of Durrow (Meath), 1830-46, son of Rev. John Toler, rector of Kentstown (Meath), and had issue:
(1) Meriel Elizabeth Toler (c.1836-1912), born about 1836; married, 13 October 1869 at Donnybrook (Dublin), Robert Devenish (c.1826-80) of Cloonfinlough House (Roscommon), youngest son of William Devenish of Mount Pleasant (Roscommon) and had issue two daughters; died 20 July 1912;
(2) Hector James Charles Toler (later Toler-Aylward) (1839-1918) (q.v.).
She and her husband lived at Durrow (Meath) until 1846 and then at Douglas (Isle of Man). After 1854 her husband returned to Bloomfield, Kilcooley (Roscommon).
She was buried at Onchan (Isle of Man), 21 July 1850. Her husband died at Bloomfield, 14 May 1883, and was buried at Strokestown (Roscommon); his will was proved 16 July 1883 (effects £1,644).

Toler (later Toler-Aylward), Hector James Charles (1839-1918). Only son of Rev. Peter Toler (1803-83) and his wife Mary, daughter of Nicholas John Patrick Aylward, born 13 June 1839. JP and DL for Co. Kilkenny; High Sheriff of Co. Kilkenny, 1886. He assumed the additional name of Aylward by royal licence, 1884, on inheriting the Shankill Castle estate from his maternal uncle. He married, 24 April 1894 at Monkstown (Dublin), Emily Mary Eliza (1853-1934), only child of James Butler of Verona, Monkstown, and had issue:
(1) Hector James Toler-Aylward (1895-1974) (q.v.);
(2) Lt-Col. Victor George Toler-Aylward (1897-1976) of The Grange, Moreton Pinkney (Northants), born 11 October 1897; educated at Radley College and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in the 2nd Dragoon Guards (2nd Lt., 1916; Lt., 1918; Capt., 1923; retired 1936; returned to service 1939; Maj., 1941; Lt-Col. on retirement, 1947) who served in First and Second World Wars; Secretary of the Grafton Hunt, 1945-54; married, 25 October 1933, Barbara Eleanor Margaret (1904-94), eldest daughter of Maj. Edwin Philip Abel Smith of Wendover (Bucks), and had issue two daughters; died 6 June 1976 and was buried at Shankill; will proved 4 November 1976 (estate £27,861).
He inherited the Shankill Castle estate from his uncle in 1884 and Bloomfield (Roscommon) from his father in 1883. He undertook some redecoration at Shankill in 1894.
He died 28 July 1918; his will was proved at Kilkenny, 14 April 1919. His widow died at Shankill, 23 January 1934; her will was proved 18 May 1934 (estate in England, £2,173).

Toler-Aylward, Hector James (1895-1974). Elder son of Hector James Charles Toler-Aylward (1839-1918) and his wife Emily Mary Eliza, only child of James Butler of Verona, Monkstown (Dublin), born 9 March 1895. Educated at Seafield Engineering College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. An officer in the army during the First World War. President of the Royal Dublin Society, 1959-62. He married, 6 June 1929 at Crossmolina (Mayo), Zinna Ethel (1897-1980), younger daughter of Ernest Henry Knox of Greenwood Park, Crossmolina, and had issue:
(1) Zinna Mary (k/a Maura) Toler-Aylward (1932-2003), born 14 December 1932; died unmarried, 19 February 2003 and was buried at Shankill;
(2) Nicola Elizabeth Toler-Aylward (b. 1936), born 26 March 1936; lived at Shankill Castle with her elder sister until it was sold;
(3) Ada Jillian Toler-Aylward (b. 1938), born 16 December 1938; nurse; married Dr. [forename unknown] Douad.
He inherited the Shankill Castle estate from his father in 1918. At his death it passed to his widow, and on her death in 1980 to his elder daughter, who sold it in 1991.
He died 1 October 1974 and was buried at Shankill; his will was proved 5 January 1976 (estate in England & Wales, £16,967). His widow died 16 March 1980 and was also buried at Shankill.


Sources


Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1912, pp. 403-04 and Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 43-44; Dublin Daily Express, 15 July 1907, p. 6; J.C. Walton, 'The Aylwards of Ballynagar', Irish Genealogist, vi, 1973, pp. 594-96; A.M. Rowan (ed.), The architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison, 1989, pp. 22-23; M. Bence-Jones, A guide to Irish country houses, 2nd edn., 1990, p. 258; E.M. Johnston-Liik, History of the Irish Parliament, 2002, vol. 3, pp. 119-20; P. Melvin, Estates and landed society in Galway, 2012, pp. 57, 175; http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=KK&regno=12306002http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/Surveys/Buildings/BuildingoftheMonth/Archive/Name,2504,en.html.


Location of archives


Aylward family of Shankill Castle: deeds and papers, 1734-19th cent. [Private Collection. Enquiries to National Library of Ireland.]


Coat of arms


Aylward: Azure, a fleur-de-lis between two estoiles of six points in bend dexter, and as many increscants in bend sinister, or.
Toler-Aylward (granted in 1884): Quarterly, 1st and 4th, azure, a fleur-de-lis between two estoiles of six points in bend dexter, and as many increscants in bend sinister, or; 2nd and 3rd, argent on a cross gules between four oak leaves vert, a fleur-de-lis or.


Can you help?


Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.

  • Can anyone provide information about the 20th century ownership of Ballynagar, or any photographs of the interior?
  • The genealogical information for the earlier generations in this account is particularly deficient, and I should be most grateful to receive additional information from anyone who has had the opportunity to examine relevant original sources.



Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 25 May 2017 and was updated 5 October 2017.

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